Milieu as matrix
°13 in Figures series, Pons Braley 2017
At the core of Pons Braley’s body of work lies his research on the milieu as matrix exploring the conversion of man to what surrounds him, by assuming the emergence of mental landscapes from the encompassing habitat. Drawing on his aesthetic and academic study of vegetal covers in circumpolar regions, he engages here with the northern bryosphere, in particular lichens and mosses, as both a topographical language as well as an intimate scenery.
As the lifeblood of the North, bryophytes remarkably shape the endemic Taiga and Tundra profiles by taking over their mineral contours. Etymologically built upon the Ancient Greek βρύον [brúon, related to “embryo”], these primary vegetations question the very origins of one’s own innerland, continuously bridging between outer and inner flora, inner and outer Norths. With Milieu as matrix, Pons Braley’s multidisciplinary journey is an attempt to name, figure after figure, the mystical crowd rising from northern milieus, inhabiting its inhabitants.
At the crossroads of anthropo-geography and craftmanship, the resulting body of work takes notably shape in heliovolume series, where totem-like photographic copper sculptures, reliquaries, tympanum and frescos question the very object of the artisan matrix in archiving a milieu. To the same time engaging with sound compositions and image-based inventories, alongside literary as well as academic essays, Pons Braley’s artistic and scientific resource culminates in an ongoing PhD in Studies and Practices of Arts, Université du Québec à Montréal.
At the periphery of his investigation, Milieu as matrix, a journey dives into the very research through sound pieces and publications series.